ELECTROTHON 2009

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eco-wheels
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Postby eco-wheels » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:16 am

Thanks Ed et al for organising the event.
- Usual last minute change of plan. I can now come down and I'll bring a few vehicles if anyone is short of an EV and wants to enter. (I know it’s not the same as running your own but sometimes where needs must!).
- I'll be travelling down from Manchester with Luton van so anybody not attending due to lack of transport for their steed and lives en-route (even dog-leg) just drop me a line at Howard@eco-wheels.com - (2-wheel/small EV’s only – No Buses/Milk Floats).
- If you’re local to Manchester and would like to join me in creating a last minute project to enter just e-mail - I should have enough bits and bobs knocking around to get something to work.

Howard

ex925
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Thank you, Howard, from Ed.

Postby ex925 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:08 pm

That's the kind of positive spirit more and more people are showing, helping to make this event a memorable success
Very many thanks, Howard, looking forward to seeing you there
Ed.

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timpootle
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Postby timpootle » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:44 am

Bumping this thread to the top as it is TOMORROW!

I have just phoned Ed, who is enroute to set things up this evening.

See you there.
Tim Crumpton

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timpootle
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Postby timpootle » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:02 pm

What a fantastic weekend! Well done Ed for organising it all. I believe some photos were taken...
Tim Crumpton

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BVS Electrathon09 Report, corrected following proof-reading

Postby ex925 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:35 am

The 2009 BVS Electrathon, Shakespeare County Raceway, near Startford on Avon, September 26th. and 27th., 2009.

“A successful first try-out to revive BVS Electrathons for the future”
(quote from a prominent competitor)

Twenty-six EV enthusiasts, with sixteen electric vehicles, enjoyed seven out of eight events which took place on each of two days this weekend, at the perfect venue. The 2009 “BVS Electrathon” was held at a fully-local authority licensed and insured, purpose-built racetrack within a vast, ideal venue, perfectly placed in the heart of England for access from all corners of the British mainland

There were sixteen Electric Vehicles. Most were road-legal, some were purely for racing, there were three developmental prototypes, and some fit more than one of those categories. With two, three, and four – wheelers, there was something for absolutely everyone. One cabin motorcycle and one sports car were driven to and from the event, each for a serious distance, as well as competing.

The weather was ideal, the venue is unique and enchanting. The former Long Marston Airfield is absolutely staggering in the variety of activities that can take place within its vast boundaries. Clay-pigeon shooting, microlight and light aviation, a huge and amazingly varied Sunday market, a “Dream-Car” driving Day, model aero competitions, and of course, the first of the new series of annual Battery Vehicle Society “Electrathons. That was just a single weekend!

Shakespeare County Raceway hosts events all year round, often several per week or weekend. These include for example truly huge events such as the “Global Gathering” Music festival, and the “Bulldog Bash” drag-racing and music days. Hot-rod festivals, (naturally including drag-racing) sprint-racing, and events with rocket-cars, (no kidding, literally, cars propelled by huge rockets!)

The Shakespeare County Raceway staff were absolutely wonderful in their commitment to help make this a success, this year and for the future. We in the BVS are indebted to them for their energy, ingenuity, perseverance in negotiating the regulations, and all-round “can-do” attitude. Without their help, the determination of the BVS committee, the vital contacts made by a number of prominent BVS members, and the sheer hard work of the happy band of BVS “Secret-Stalwarts”, this flying start to a future series of BVS events could simply not have happened, particularly given the present financial, political, and regulatory climate.......

Saturday morning, and the first competitors, helpers, and spectators not already there as part of the (“voluntary, honestly...”) “Friday work-gang” started to arrive. Cedric appeared, having already ridden the 90-odd miles from Potters Bar in his electric cabin motorcycle. Once people had signed the requisite BVS disclaimer, competitors were allocated race-numbers, and a line formed for the Scrutineers' attention. We realised, with great relief on my part, that we actually had a viable event.

So, why was it participants (only) “enjoyed seven out of eight events, on each of two days this weekend.....” in the writers opinion? Well, there was Scrutineering. Both days. To a high standard. For unarguable safety reasons. And whose idea was that? And whose “J.D.” failed scrutineering?

In truth, scrutineering was done with care, tact, vast experience, and good common sense. The few who were asked to make slight improvements were in fact pleased to do so. Certainly, in my case, three out of the four the items had been forgotten from my “Do Not Forget”” list... Except for the naturally disreputable appearance of the “J.D.”, the standards of engineering and finish of the EVs were exemplary. All competition entrants were able to meet the requirements imposed by regulations, underwriting conditions, safety, and even Local Authority stipulations, with little or no effort. Two TWEVs were present as demonstrators, not being used for competition.

As each competing machine emerged with its “BVS Electrathon09, Scrutineered” sticker, their riders or drivers were briefed on safety issues and track information, and lined up to set their base-times for the ス mile circuit. This had been prepared jointly by BVS “Secret-Stalwarts” and Shakespeare County Raceway (SCR) staff on the Friday. On the Saturday, the circuit consisted of opposing carriageways on the drag-strip, with hairpin turns at each end.

Cedric's machine has a relatively long wheelbase, yet proved no problem to Cedric on the hairpin turns. Some of us were not surprised, having followed Cedric southbound up the extremely twisty Ditchling Beacon road, during the BVS “L2B” electric London to Brighton Run in June this year. Cedric's machine also again demonstrated its remarkable performance, setting some serious lap-times. Low CDa rules, no question.....

At the other end of the scale was George, with his electric mini-moto. A very high level of skill, proper safety-gear, and one happy youngster. He shows such serious talent already, that when he is fully-grown, - and all Moto-GP bikes are EVs, I believe he will have a serious advantage over former petrol-head riders in how to maximise the benefit of stored electrical energy when racing.

A “Blast from the Past” was provided by a minimalist 24v. Recumbent tricycle dating from the BVS Electrathons of the Nineteen-Seventies. This had occasional difficulties, but the support crew determinedly overcame them until at last several runs were achieved that proved there is a very strong case for extreme minimalism.

Howard had generously brought four demonstrator TWEVs, two of which were used in the competitions. He thus enabled several onlookers to try the EV experience who might not have done so otherwise. Good man, that Howard.

Then Stuart and Julie Mills arrived, the heart of Mills Extreme Vehicles. An electric MEV Rocket was unloaded, together with a quadricycle version of the much-coveted MEV electric trike seen last year at the BVS Electrathon at Sparkford in Dorset, and a genuinely practical eletric commuter-scooter. Now we had some serious four-wheel speed, with two fully belted seats to boot.

Next to appear was a Greenpower Racer. This single-seater 4-wheel EV is an example of what can be achieved in terms of speed and endurance with 200 watts, 24v., and an astute ultra-lightweight design and building approach. Full suspension, highly effective aerodynamics, notwithstanding all single-curvature bodywork, least possible CDa and rolling-resistance proved how to travel really quickly on virtually no energy, and in complete safety.

Several varieties of Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle were in the mix, from Terry Harding's radically, but stylishly, evolved and improved vintage example, to some modern oriental-origin examples. Most were to later prove eminently practical in what became dubbed the “Shopping-Challenge”, carrying a golf-trolley battery to simulate a very odd bag of groceries. Then, of course, there was also the necessary bottom of the barrel, but the less I say about my entry, probably the better. Whilst it ran round as required suffice to tell that improvements (lots!) have been inspired by the excellence of the opposition......... (All the opposition!)

By the end of Saturday, everyone present had enjoyed the opportunity to compete, compare, contrast, learn from, and frankly, in my case, (harmlessly) seriously envy, the quality of all the EVs gathered at SCR. Lots of ideas, for better ways, improving designs, new kit, and, to my delighted viewpoint, - happily indicating that there was no longer any question in the minds of those present, as to “Whether” - serious energy being devoted to the theme of “How to make next year's BVS Electrathon even better“ (YESSS!).
A beautiful sunny day settled into a spectacular sunset. Some of us carbon-footed it into a traffic-jammed Stratford for supplies. Sat in the VIP lounge on our return, eating and talking animatedly, we all looked forward eagerly to Sunday.

Security patrols passing, as discreetly as possible, at regular intervals, were again the only variation in the almost monastic silence of the night. I reckon everyone felt a sense of good fortune, a re-invigoration of the cause of sustainable energy, and contentment. What a great place from which to look up at the stars. The distant street-light looms of Stratford and it's satellite villages are screened on three sides by the gigantic noise attenuation wall partly surrounding the drag-strip. An occasional sound of wild-life, but no traffic noise, reached my (admittedly battered) ear-drums. Peace.....

Sunday dawned, first light by 06.50 am, daylight before 07.30am. Still soul-soothingly peaceful, with still air, and warm already, promising another excellent day's weather. By 07.00am, the giant Sunday Market was busily being assembled on a large apron near the site entrance. Back at the drag-strip, “EV-people” were emerging below my first-floor vantage-point in the Race Control building. Good facilities, clean water, and reliable electric power. The venue the BVS really needed, in all respects. A general air of optimism and busy cheerfulness all round.

While we were breaking the fast, John Cave arrived, bringing an electric Kawasaki ZZR. Soon after, A yellow Lotus Elise appeared..... An “Electric Elise”.... Whose driver had just driven from Leicester. A bit chilled, (no roof), but looking happy to be with us. A cheerful and clearly very highly EV-competent chap, he had just backed up Cedric's demonstration that the programme-banner was now, at last, simple reality, no longer just wishful thinking. EVs ARE practical...

Whilst the newcomers were being scrutineered, those who had set their ”Aspired energy-use rates” the previous day got ready to either improve, or compete in the “Shopping-Challenge”. This was a very light-hearted way to see if a simulated shopping-trip load would in any detectable way degrade their energy-efficiency, or show up practical-use issues. For some I think it did. (Mine, for sure)

A press-ganged working-party set off by carbon-power to extend the circuit. On Saturday, the presence of a “Dream-Car Drivers' Day” circuit event at the North-eastern end of the main runway had required us from the BVS to set out markers and barriers just past the end of the astonishingly expensive and sticky surface of the quarter-mile drag-strip proper. Today we could use as much of the runway as we needed. We first spoke with the Microlight and light aircraft enthusiasts, who confirmed that they were content to use the grass runway for the day, to generate sufficient distance for safety and still allow us to have a full half-mile in each direction. We placed a pair of trackside banners face-down, to form a “plus” sign visible from the air, on the junction of the main runway, and the secondary runway which forms the basis of the drag-strip. This was as a final cautionary reminder to anyone arriving airborne and unaware of the BVS Electrathon.

Soon, we were seeing what competitors had learned from Saturday. The energy figures showed some intriguing results. Whilst some competitors had improved in efficiency, some others were discovering that the results of some techniques were contrary to expectation. All were learning.

The Lotus Elise proved a serious sports-EV, as well as being a practical roadster. Business needs meant that Stuart Mills had only been able to devote Saturday to the Electrathon, so, regrettably there was no chance for a showdown between his Rocket and the Elise. Cedric had some laps on the Kawasaki, to contrast with his own machine. His skill on a conventional motorcycle has obviously not been displaced by the use of a recumbent cabin motorcycle.

The extended course allowed a wider turning-circle at the far end, and some good times and energy figures emerged. Those with vehicles not permitted on the Highway made good use of the chance to do some real-world testing and showed useful resultant improvements.

By late afternoon, we were all content that we had used this opportunity to the maximum. As those with deadlines and distances to cope with made their farewells, we of the (now much enlarged) “BVS Work-gang” gathered to return the site equipment to it's normal places and functions. We started by an exploration of those areas within the rest of the airfield suggested by the SCR track engineers as possible locations for a larger and more interesting circuit for next year's BVS Event(s?). Suffice to say that it should be truly entertaining and incalculably useful for machine testing and development. We could not have a better venue, in my opinion. We all agreed, we need to start planning for next year, NOW!

Finally, as the dusk deepened, the last of the tidying-up was done. A final, happy, review with SCR staff, and we handed over the BVS cheque and the keys to the buildings, disabled toilets, etc. A sense of real satisfaction all round, that we had actually done it, despite all the hurdles that had cropped up. That this Event actually happened at all is due to so many factors and to so much concerted personal effort, that it would be almost impossible to list every person and contribution that was needed and given.

Though I enjoyed these two BVS committee-post projects this year, - (there was also the search for a “Portable” BVS Public Liability policy at an affordable rate AND granting cover for Events involving ANY form of “Motor Racing”, even our quiet, safe, and enjoyable BVS form!) - I shall be unavailable at such a level in 2010, for several unavoidable personal reasons. Thus there is a need for continuity, for personal commitment to keep and build the momentum now gained.
I promise anyone willing to take over three things:

One
You will find the basic foundations in place. No question, the unexpected will crop up, but I believe we now know what we want to do, and clearly how to achieve it.
Two
All I did was link the very effective efforts of many others;
The BVS could easily have done it with co-ordination by someone else, anyone else, but definitely, it could not have happened without every single contribution of the rest of you.
Three
Although this Electrathon was low on numbers, it was high on quality, and demonstrated clearly that the BVS has the group ability to return to the wider scene in 2010 with amazing results.
All the necessary components, competences and current experience have now been acquired, by the membership of the BVS, as a group.

Let us start planning and publicising and booking and publicising and recruiting and publicising and seeking sponsorship and publicising and securing venues and publicising and individually booking accommodation and publicising and notifying other UK and Europe EV groups and publicising and calling “EV-ers” overseas and publicising and................................................

LET'S HAVE SEVERAL EVents like Electrathon09 in 2010, why not?
We CAN do it, believe me.

Ed. Gordon,
Woolwell,
Devon,
September 28th., 2009

Kind regards to all.

eco-wheels
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Postby eco-wheels » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:17 am

We had a great do - thanks Ed.

The following http://www.eco-wheels.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=4:electrothon-2009&Itemid=66 is a link to some of the pics we took at the weekend. Its not David Bailey stuff but you get the drift. It will probably get deleted soon when the "authorities" get to see that I've not used the correct procedure but "life isn't worth living if its not in the fast lane" Have a gander before its too late!

Cheers again

clnbrtltt
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Postby clnbrtltt » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:43 pm

Great write up and good selection of photos.

Well done to all involved :D
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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:41 pm

Fantastic write up Ed , I'm still reading and find more in it each time 8)

Great set of pic's Eco-Wheels, thanks for taking them and sharing 8)

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

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timpootle
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Postby timpootle » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:35 am

Tim Crumpton

shakespeare
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Postby shakespeare » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:41 am

If anyone has any photos they can send to me for future reference and for use on our new Airfield web site can they please send them to me at the following e-mail addresses or post a disc.

enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk

or

quartermilenewsmakers@yahoo.co.uk

or

Jeremy Cookson
c/o Shakespeare County Raceway
Airfield House
Long Marston Airfield
Long Marston
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 8LL

Thank you.


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